Taco Tequila bar to hit Vancouver’s nightlife strip
Set to open soon in place of former Granville Street bar Sip, The Pawn Shop is sure to be a hit with people looking for a damn good night out. Co-owner Raymond Staniscia tells us why – and how to apply to be a part of it – in another Industry’s Finest instalment.
How did you get into owning restaurants and bars?
Throughout my entire life, I have always liked to entertain and throw parties. I really enjoyed bringing friends together to let loose and have a good time, whether it was a simple house party or a massive hall party of 1500 people. Owning restaurants and bars never really crossed my mind; however, my current business partner and best friend, Peter Raptis, was a bartender at Cactus Club in Burnaby on Lougheed when we were younger and his passion and drive for hospitality inspired me to join the industry. At that time, we were studying business and throwing large events together which drove us into bartending and helping run a nightclub called Mavericks. At first, the events and bartending was just a paycheque to get me through university at SFU. Next thing I know, we graduated and opened up our first restaurant called Sip in September 2004.
The Pawn Shop is replacing the popular Sip on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver. Tell us about The Pawn Shop concept and how it differs from SIP.
The Pawn Shop is your local taco tequila bar on Vancouver’s infamous Granville Street. It’s a non-exclusive, come as you are, food- and drink-forward environment that welcomes everyone from all walks of life. Come get wasted with your buddies or have a casual lunch with a friend; it’s a space that can transform into whatever the guest needs it to be for their personal experience.
Why should someone apply to work at The Pawn Shop?
We’re going to be the local Granville spot to grab a bite to eat, have a drink, and be in a relaxed but trendy environment. We’ll be playing a lot of old school hip hop, 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s music, showcasing murals on our walls done by local artists, and hiring an awesome crew to ensure everyone has a good time. It’s a space to get away from reality for a minute and enjoy yourself. To us, The Pawn Shop is our house and everyone’s invited to the party. The Pawn Shop will be staffed with an edgy crew that’s in the service industry because they truly love being hosts of the party. We’re here for it all: providing and being a part of a good time. At the end of the day, it’s not just about tacos, craft beer, and tequila; it’s about providing a space for people to feel comfortable, be who they are, and come get some good eats and enjoy some drinks.
You also own a very popular restaurant in White Rock called The Wooden Spoon. What’s the concept there and why has it been so successful?
The Wooden Spoon Co. is a hip brunch and bistro with character located in the heart of uptown White Rock. The Wooden Spoon Co. patrons find nothing “classic” there except the ingredients. Our food philosophy is focused on fresh, house-made dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients; from the breads and pastas to the butchery and sauces, all products are made in-house with quality and consistency. The key thing to our success is to make sure that everything we put out at The Spoon is done to the highest standard and made with the best ingredients. We also work closely with the amazing community in White Rock; they have embraced us with open arms and we thank them!
What are you looking for in people applying to work at The Pawn Shop?
We are currently hiring all positions at The Pawn Shop. We are looking for staff with edgy personalities who are in the service industry because they truly love being hosts of the party. Our team will understand that being a server or bartender also carries a social responsibility to make sure every night is one to remember.
How has working with EightSix helped your businesses?
EightSix has been amazing for us. It allows us to connect with those in hospitality who love their jobs.
Cocktails at The Pawn Shop
What do you find the most challenging aspect of owning bars and restaurants?
The most challenging aspect of owning bars and restaurants currently is finding reliable and loyal staff.
NFL, NHL, CFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, European Football (soccer), or none of the above?
NFL. I’m a diehard Denver Broncos fan and also Serie A Juventus fan.
You’re heading out for drinks on a Saturday night. Other than the places you own, where do you go and what do you order first?
For dinner, I always love visiting my friend Paul at La Bodega on Main. Then, I’d head to Keefer [Bar] for a few drinks then head home – and for me home is Granville Street to visit my family at Aura, 12 West or Cabana.
What is the best thing about working in this industry?
Being able to make someones day with an amazing experience.
Ready to join the party? Apply now to The Pawn Shop
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